(Bloomberg) -- Juergen Schmidhuber taught a computer to park a car. He’s also showing that same machine how to trade stocks and detect flaws in steel production. Unrelated as these tasks may appear, Schmidhuber thinks a seemingly random training regimen is key to creating artificial intelligence that can solve any problem.

Schmidhuber’s AI theories tend to carry weight. In 1997, he co-authored a seminal paper that laid the groundwork for modern AI systems. It introduced a form of memory modeled after the human brain that helps computers make decisions based on context and prior experiences. The concept underpins most modern AI networks. Today he serves as the head of a Swiss AI institute that’s proven to be a fertile breeding ground for many of the world’s top experts. The New York Times recently referred to him as a would-be father of AI.

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